MAG calls for VA to reject proposed APRNs scope rule

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is calling for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reject a proposed rule that would allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) – including nurse anesthetists – to provide services to VA health care system patients without the clinical oversight of a physician (i.e., ‘RIN 2900-AP44-Advanced Practice Registered Nurses’ aka the ‘VA Proposed APRN Rule’) because it would undermine their care.

In a letter that he submitted to VA Sec. Robert McDonald, MAG President John S. Harvey, M.D., pointed out that, "Georgia law requires APRNs to work under the supervision of a physician, an approach that has a long and proven track record in our state. Changing this law would compromise the standard of care for veterans, which is one of our most vulnerable populations – and keeping in mind that VA patients often have complex medical conditions that pose a greater risk of complications during surgery."

He added that, "MAG believes that the VA should continue to use a physician-led, team-based model of care to ensure that veterans have access to adequately trained physicians – especially in the event of an emergency or a complication during surgery and especially when it comes to imaging, imaging diagnostics, anesthesiology, perioperative medicine, and acute care settings."

Dr. Harvey also stressed that there is no shortage of physician anesthesiologists in the VA system.

Finally, he said that "MAG believes that creating different standards of medical care for non-physicians could result in widespread confusion and errors that will undermine the care that VA patients receive."

Click for MAG's letter to the VA